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Workers' Compensation Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does it cost to hire a law firm in a workers' compensation case?
  • Am I entitled to a settlement for my work related injury?
  • I was hurt at work.  Can my employer fire me?
  • At first, the insurance company paid my claim after my injury.  However, the payments have stopped and the insurance company has not explained why.  Can the insurance company do this?
  • I received a Workers' Compensation Board "Proposed Conciliation Decision;" does this mean my case has already been decided?  Are all my rights protected?
  • Will a lawyer review a Proposed Conciliation Decision?
  • If I get a Proposed Conciliation Decision, can I get a hearing?
  • I was injured at work, but the insurance company says I have a pre-existing condition and now they won't pay me.  Is this legal?
  • I was injured one year ago and still have problems with my injury.  Am I entitled to ongoing medical care as a result of this injury?
  • I see ads for attorneys on television and in the newspaper who claim to be able to recover large settlements for injuries.  Will those attorneys represent me in a workers' compensation case?
  • I heard the Workers Compensation Laws have recently been changed. How will this effect my claim?
  • What can you do for me?

  • What does it cost to hire a law firm in a workers' compensation case?

    There is no “retainer” required to hire any law firm in Workers' Compensation cases. Approval of all fees must be requested from the Compensation Law Judge and are only awarded if you receive cash benefits in connection with your Workers' Compensation claim.

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    Am I entitled to a settlement for my work related injury?

    In many cases, an injured worker may be entitled to an award for a permanent injury. However, an application must be made to obtain any potential award. For answers in your particular case, it is best to discuss this with our Compensation Representative.

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    I was hurt at work.  Can my employer fire me?

    Although your employer cannot fire you for filing a Workers' Compensation claim, you may be discharged if you are unable to perform your regular duties as a result of those injuries. If this is true, you may be entitled to ongoing Workers' Compensation benefits until you are able to return to comparable work.

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    At first, the insurance company paid my claim after my injury.  However, the payments have stopped and the insurance company has not explained why.  Can the insurance company do this?

    Yes. Insurance companies will often initially accept a claim, but then suspend, or reduce, payments dramatically without formal explanation to you. In many cases, these benefits may be reinstated if the claim is brought before a Compensation Law Judge in a timely manner. In this situation, it is best for you to have representation by an experienced compensation practitioner.

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    I received a Workers' Compensation Board "Proposed Conciliation Decision;" does this mean my case has already been decided?  Are all my rights protected?

    Yes; and maybe not. The Workers' Compensation Board Conciliation Decision is a means to administratively process your claim without the use of a hearing. Workers' Compensation Conciliators try to handle "short term" cases without hearings. However, many times claimants are entitled to more benefits than the Decision indicates. Therefore, it is a good idea to talk to a compensation practitioner when you get this kind of Decision.

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    Will a law firm review a Proposed Conciliation Decision?

    Yes. This is usually done without charge. However, if the practitioner finds that some benefits you are entitled to are missing, you will be advised as to what can be done to correct mistakes. You will also be advised on all of the different benefits you may be entitled to, including Workers' Compensation, private disability plans, No-Fault benefits, Social Security Disability benefits and "personal injury" benefits.

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    If I get a Proposed Conciliation Decision, can I get a hearing?

    Yes, you have the right to request a hearing, if you respond in the proper manner.

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    I was injured at work, but the insurance company says I have a pre-existing condition and now they won't pay me.  Is this legal?

    Probably not. Often, insurance carriers will argue they are not responsible for disability because the claimant had "pre-existing conditions." However, many times the carrier's contention that the disability was pre-existing can be overcome when put before a Compensation Law Judge. In this situation it is strongly recommended to review this matter with an experienced Workers’’ Compensation practitioner.

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    I was injured one year ago and still have problems with my injury.  Am I entitled to ongoing medical care as a result of this injury?

    Yes. You are entitled to lifetime medical care in connection with your work-related injury. However, a finding of permanency must be made by a Compensation Law Judge in order to insure that medical treatment in the future will be the responsibility of the compensation insurance carrier. This is a standard step taken on your behalf by our Firm.

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    I see ads for law firms on television and in the newspaper who claim to be able to recover large settlements for injuries.  Will those law firms represent me in a Workers' Compensation case?

    Sometimes. However, not all "personal injury" lawyers work consistently before the Workers' Compensation Board. The rules, procedures and benefits are very different. We often help clients who previously were only represented by "personal injury" lawyers, whose compensation cases were threatened or cut off as a result of improper settlement of their "personal injury" claims. If a claim for personal injuries arises from a work setting, it is advised that a knowledgeable Compensation practitioner be involved as soon as possible. It is important to protect immediate and future Workers’’ Compensation benefits while pursuing personal injury claims. Settlement of a personal injury claim could actually result in getting less than Workers’ Compensation would have provided, without having to sue.

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    I heard the Workers’ Compensation Laws have recently been changed. How will this effect my claim?

    The Workers’’ Compensation Reform signed into law March of 2007 creates many complications for existing claims, and almost as many for new claims filed after July 2007. Many of these changes can result in a suspension or elimination of your Workers’’ Compensation benefits. Our office keeps abreast of these changes to assure the best outcomes of your claim, even with the newer, more restrictive laws that cap benefits and restrict workers rights.

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    What can you do for me?

    We have nearly fifty (50) years of combined Workers' Compensation Law, Social Security Law and Personal Injury Law experience. We can tell you how different benefits can be coordinated and what the law requires. If you haven't gotten the correct compensation protections, we help you get to a Judge and fight for these proper benefits. We can also advise you of the different benefits you may be entitled to under private disability plans, No-Fault, Social Security Disability and "personal injury" claims. Some personal injury attorneys do not regularly appear in Compensation Court for work related claims. Our office regularly evaluates the types of claims and benefits that may arise out of your work-related injury.

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